Peru tour highlights
Our selection of small group holidays to Peru can take you from the soul-stirring sights of walking the Inca Trail to exploring the Peruvian Amazon, family holidays in the Sacred Valley or tours of Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca.
From lofty mountain peaks to fascinating Inca ruins, our tours encompass a vast choice of experiences around Peru, but a few of our favourite highlights include:
Trekking the Inca Trail is the classic Peru experience. Culminating in Machu Picchu, designated one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, this challenging route twists and turns through the Andes Mountain Range, passing rushing rivers, crumbling Inca ruins and cloud forests wreathed in mist. Our four-day fully supported trek includes navigating the Inca Trail, staying at campsites away from the crowds, as well as Machu Picchu; one of the best views of the trip is getting your first glimpse of the glorious Inca ruins as you arrive at the Sun Gate on foot. You’ll also get to stroll through the ancient cobbled streets of Cusco, the atmospheric former Inca capital.
There’s also the option to extend your trip with a visit to an eco-lodge in the wildlife-rich Amazon basin. The trek can also be combined with an in-depth Peru holiday to Lake Titicaca and Colca Canyon, two of Peru’s most compelling natural highlights, where you’ll stay on the island of Taquile in a traditional homestay. There’s nothing like watching the sun set over the glass-like waters of the world’s highest navigable lake.
Perhaps the most famous of Peru’s top sights, Machu Picchu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Set high in the Andes Mountains at an altitude of 2,430 metres, it is believed to have been built by the Inca in the 15th century and later abandoned, though its original use still remains a mystery. You’ll certainly recognise the labyrinth of dry-stone walls clinging to the grassy plateau and terraced steps leading down to the Urubamba River. Whether choosing a classic Peru trip taking in the ancient citadel, a walking and trekking holiday to Peru, or combining your trip with the Galapagos Islands, you’ll find that Machu Picchu features highly on all of our group tours to Peru.
Peru’s striated mountains are high up on many people’s must-see sights in Peru, but this in turn attracts the crowds. Escape the bus tours with a trip to Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain – the antidote to the photographers' paradise of Vinicuna – where its striped flanks are dappled in shades of grey-green, pale gold and rich umber. Getting away from the crowds is something we aim to do on our tours, so if you’re looking to explore the mountains of Peru, Palccoyo is one to add to your list. Not only is the Palccoyo trek quieter and shorter than the alternative, it’s an out-and-back route which will allow you to enjoy the views on the way up and the way down.
One of the world’s deepest canyons, Colca Canyon is also one of the best places in Peru to spot rare Andean Condors. If the conditions are right, you can stand at the canyon rim and view these magnificent birds soaring on the thermals from miradors such as Cruz del Condor. The birds often swoop low over onlookers’ heads, adding to the excitement provided by the spectacular 1200 metre drop to the river below. You can visit Colca Canyon on our Peru In Depth tour, which also includes the Inca Trail during 19 days of thrilling discovery.
Cusco was the former capital of the Inca empire, and marries both archaeological ruins and elegant Spanish colonial architecture – the latter best seen in Plaza de Armas, the old city’s colonnaded central square. Peruvian cuisine has seen somewhat of an explosion in recent years, and Cusco has its fair share of recommended restaurants where you can enjoy delicious Peruvian dishes like ceviche or tacu tacu – like Peruvian bubble and squeak. It’s also the gateway to Machu Picchu, so if you’re taking in the Inca citadel on one of our classic Peru tours you’ll pass through Cusco.
Solo travel in Peru
All of our Peru tours are suitable for solo travellers. You can expect that about half of our customers will travel solo, so if you’re considering an Explore tour as a solo traveller you won’t be the only person travelling alone. Going on a small-group tour gives you the perfect opportunity to meet fellow travellers who share the same interests. Considering travelling solo with a small group for the first time? We've answered some of your most-asked questions.
Best time to go to Peru
The dry season from May to September is the most popular time to hike the Inca Trail and visit the wonder of Machu Picchu. The hottest months of June and August are the busiest, whereas in September and October the temperatures are pleasantly warm without being too hot, and the trails are quieter.
If you plan to extend your Peru tour with a wildlife-spotting trip along the tropical Amazon River, book a trip in September, October or November for the best experience. Immerse yourself in the lush jungle waterways and keep a lookout for bright orange frog, rainbow feathered Macaw and inquisitive otter.
Inti Raymi Festival
For an immersive Peruvian cultural experience, book onto our Classic Peru Discovery Tour in June to witness colourful parades, eclectic dancing and live music during the Inti Raymi Festival celebrations in Cusco. This old Inca ‘Festival of the Sun’ happens on 24 June to mark the Southern hemisphere winter solstice.